Mastodon C



  • Big data, simple analytics, big impact.

    Fran Bennett Oct 29, 2012

    Don’t tell anyone yet, but we’ve got a big project going live soon which aims to help the NHS save an awful lot of money. It turns out that by altering GPs’ prescribing behaviour for a few drugs, swapping generic for proprietary forms where appropriate, it’s possible to save hundreds of millions of pounds a […]

  • Big data, told through the medium of The Muppets

    Fran Bennett Oct 22, 2012

    From the Bethnal Green Ventures Demo Day – my 5 minute version of what we do, told mostly through the medium of Muppets. Not the most technically deep talk I’ve ever done, but I’m actually pretty pleased with this as a very quick teaser on what we do and what it’s for. Now to work on the […]

  • When, will i, will i be famous?

    Fran Bennett Sep 20, 2012

    (if you now have an earworm, congratulations, we are of the same generation) In October you’ll have a few chances to see the very rare and shy Team Mastodon in public. On October 2nd, Fran will be talking at O’Reilly Strata London on How to Make Big Data Massively Greener (contact us for discounted tickets for the […]

  • Hadoop vs data warehouses

    Fran Bennett Aug 20, 2012

    A friend asked me this week what the difference is between using Hadoop and its related ecosystem for data storage and analysis, and using a traditional Data Warehouse. You might want to skip this post if you’re already way ahead on this topic, but for everyone else, I thought I’d try and clarify… A Data Warehouse is […]

  • Hive pain reduction tricks

    Fran Bennett Aug 5, 2012

    Hive is a SQL-like interface onto Map Reduce. It feels nice and familiar to analysts who are used to thinking in a SQL paradigm, but it has some nasty gotchas that can make jobs verrrrrry slow or make them fail altogether. Either way, you waste a lot of time, blood pressure, and machine hours. I […]

  • Green data in the uk – nice job Rackspace!

    Fran Bennett Jul 27, 2012

    We added Rackspace calculations to our footprint data this week, as we’re keen to start running our Hadoop clusters over more infrastructure (in the greenest possible way) and we’re sure you are too. I was getting a bit despondent about our sustainable options for running big computation, so was super excited to learn after talking […]

  • Doing the data centre dance

    Fran Bennett Jul 25, 2012

    We show live footprint estimates for right now on our dashboard at, but it’s also pretty interesting to visualise the different locations over time to get a feel for the size of fluctuation to see how the horse race between time zones and temperatures plays out. This chart shows some real ratings for May. It’s got some […]

  • Data center carbon footprints gradually go mainstream

    Fran Bennett Jul 18, 2012

    Yet another GigaOm article with a linkbait headline but genuinely interesting content, which is well worth a read – “The controversial world of clean power and data centers”. It’s great to see this issue becoming increasingly mainstream, and in particular businesses starting to be more and more clear about the fact that being efficient is distinct […]

  • Hadoop’s days are numbered? not really

    Fran Bennett Jul 10, 2012

    GigaOm published this interesting and provocative article last week, headlined ‘Why the days are numbered for Hadoop as we know it’. It’s actually a pretty good argument, despite the sensational headline. The tl;dr, as I interpret it, is that: Hadoop is an excellent solution for management and processing massive datasets on commodity hardware – hence makes big […]

  • Agile, Lean and Startups

    Bruce Durling Jul 2, 2012

    An interesting thought on waterfall, agile and long term vision came up on the London Java Communitymailing list. Richard Gomes asked, quite rightly, if agile and lean reject long term planning and vision. People who know me will know that I don’t agree. For me, the problem with waterfall is that we end up waiting far too long […]

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